Urban Hiking, Randy Morrow Trail, San Gabriel Park to Chandler Park Georgetown, Williamson County, Texas

Trailhead at San Gabriel Park in Georgetown

The Randy Morrow Trail is a five mile out and back trail in Georgetown Texas. The trail is concrete, so I guess it is still a hike although today I took Quinn with me, so it was a hike/dog walk.

The Randy Morrow Trail runs from San Gabriel Park in downtown Georgetown to the North Fork Dam where it connects to the Goodwater Loop around Lake Georgetown.

The Trail is named for Randy Morrow who was the director of Community Services/Parks and Recreation for the City of Georgetown. Georgetown’s great trail system was his brainchild. Morrow died in 2012 at age 57 after a long battle with cancer. The Randy Morrow Trail is also a National Recreation Trail.

We arrived at San Gabriel Park about eight to a large welcoming committee……of ducks!

our welcoming committee.

There were ducks everywhere! We started down the trail and did two miles out and back. One thing about this trail….. at about the two mile point it starts through a neighborhood. It follows the streets for about a mile then returns into the canyon. What makes this trail unique is that it pretty much stays in the canyon of the North San Gabriel River except the center section that passes through the houses. The trail also connects part of the town’s park system. San Gabriel, Rivery, and Chandler parks all lay along the route. Chandler Park is where the trail enters the neighborhood.

North Fork San Gabriel River

About a mile or so into our adventure we got a visitor…….

oh that looks like a nope rope!

I picked Quinn up as he will chase anything that is moving as far as wildlife is concerned. I guess that’s the Jack Russell in him. We walked on where the trail goes deep into the canyon.

Let’s talk a moment of Williamson County and Georgetown since we are here. Williamson County was formed in 1848 so it is one of the oldest in Texas. It is also my home county. It contains 1134 square miles of land. Williamson County was named for Robert McAlpin Williamson. Williamson was a participant at the battle of San Jacinto, a Republic of Texas Supreme Court Justice, and a Texas Ranger. Arthritis caused Williamson’s leg to be permanently bent at a ninety-degree angle so to allow him to walk a wooden leg was strapped to his knee, thus he was known as “three-legged Willie”. He is also the first white man known to play a banjo.

Williamson County is the third fastest growing county in Texas. It’s population more than doubled in the last decade growing at 52%. There are now 609,000 residents.

Although Round Rock is by far the largest city of Williamson County, Georgetown is the county seat. This also comes with a story. George Washington Glasscock donated the land for the city with the understanding that it would be and always will be the county seat., a promise that has been kept over the years. Also in Georgetown is Southwestern University the oldest college in Texas.

looking down the canyon of the North Fork San Gabriel River.

At the two mile pole we turned back to San Gabriel Park.

San Gabriel Park is the point where the North Fork and South Fork San Gabriel Rivers meet to form the San Gabriel River. The San Gabriel River actually has three forks although the middle fork is short and empties into the North Fork long before they reach Georgetown. The South Fork rises in Burnet County and flows near Liberty Hill, Texas. The North Fork also rises in Burnet County and flows to Georgetown through Lake Georgetown. The combined San Gabriel then flows from Georgetown to its confluence with the Little River. The San Gabriel is part of the Brazos River System where most streams around here flow into the Colorado. The San Gabriel System is a total of 133 miles long and with its two major dams at North Fork and Laneport makes it one on the most controlled rivers in America.

The confluence of the San Gabriels on the left is the South Fork San Gabriel and the right the larger North Fork San Gabriel.

And together they head for the Brazos…

Next, I want to go do the other end of the trail from the North Fork Dam up to the road walk…… so stay tuned for that adventure

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